Lingerie Market Fall/Winter 2017: 10 Lingerie Trends I Want in Plus Sizes
Walking into CURVE New York on February, 25 mannequins representing ten years of iconic lingerie trends greeted me. While the lingerie styles displayed were aesthetically diverse, all the mannequins wore the same size.
I feel like that’s a metaphor for what it’s like to be plus size in an industry still very straight size focused. So much design innovation...but when it comes to those trends appearing in plus, it feels like we're invisible.
Don’t get me wrong. I know plus size lingerie is not completely forgotten. Between CURVE and The Lingerie Selection, there were at least 14 plus size and size-inclusive brands I was grateful to see. More than that, they all made thoughtful, fashionable pieces in plus.
However, as I walked the show floor, I couldn’t help swooning over some of the pieces not available in my size. I took every opportunity to speak with designers and brands directly and to ask if plus sizes were on their radar. The answers I got were "interesting" at worst and promising at best. My favorite response? When I asked a brand if they carried plus sizes, their response was, “one time we used a pregnant model.” And of course, there was the classic, “It’s not available in plus, but it has stretch.”
Some designers told me in so many words, “That’s not what we do.” Others were really excited to tell me they already have plus sizes in the works and I could expect to see them over the next few seasons. I recognize not every brand is going to have the means (or desire) to invest in adding more sizes to their range. Yet the fact that some were willing to make this a priority felt very promising.
When given the chance, I talked with these brands about how it’s important for plus size lingerie to keep similar design elements, but for those pieces to also offer support for a plus size figure. I assured them “plus size” is the easiest term to help us shop these items, and that it's not offensive (unlike what some models would have you believe). Most brands were all ears. I was glad to tell decision-makers directly that plus size folks want the same lingerie styles as our straight size counterparts.
Looking through lingerie market, I quickly made a list of pieces I wished I could wear. Overall, there were ten trends I saw in full bust and core sizes at lingerie market I didn’t see yet in plus sizes.
Loveday London was one of the first brands to stop me in my tracks at CURVE. Their use of silver metallic leather alongside delicate lace was unlike anything I'd ever seen. The brand is known for their ethereal decadence. I couldn’t help but marvel at the craftsmanship of the leather lingerie in my hands.
The tags on all of their pieces read “Hardcore Romance.” The balance between hard and soft makes a strong statement in beautifully shaped leather.
The leather trend made an appearance once again when I ventured by French lingerie brand Aubade. Though the pieces were black leather, rather than metallics or colorful, I still found the styles to be luxe and well-constructed.
Liviara was the very last brand at CURVE. As we walked by their booth, Cora casually mentioned Liviara was the underwear brand Beyonce wore for her pregnancy announcement. I not-so-casually freaked out and ran into their booth. I found their famous ruffle panties came not only in blue, but also in pink.
There’s also a bustier style bra, matching the panties, featuring the same effortless ruffle. I swooned. After the show, Liviara sent me their lookbook and the Marie Antoniette inspiration definitely sold the romantic playfulness of this trend for me.
Liviara is one brand that mentioned a size range expansion for the future. I personally cannot wait.
Range of Nudes
There’s no doubt Nubian Skin changed the lingerie game by creating nude lingerie for a range of skin tones. With the growth they’ve already experienced, it’s hard to believe they're only a little more than two years old. They just launched a line of shoes in a range of nudes that seems ready to, once again, shake the industry - in a good way.
Their newest offerings at CURVE showed a range of deeper-toned nudes in vintage-inspired, high-waisted styles and stunning sheer lace. Right now, the largest band size available on their site is a 40, but a larger plus size selection is definitely on their radar.
Fairy Tale Luxury
Luxury lingerie is not often found in plus sizes, so walking through CURVE was my first time really being exposed to this level of intricacy and craftsmanship. Two luxury brands truly impressed me: Amoralle and Layneau Collection.
It was hard not to get drawn into Amoralle’s booth each time I walked by. Their Fall/Winter 2017 collection takes inspiration from Sleeping Beauty, and the pieces shown reflect a fairy tale level balance of glamour and whimsy.
Over at The Lingerie Selection, Layneau’s pieces wowed me with the sheer amount of hours that went into creating each one. The approach they call “old school dressmaker detail” means some items take up to 20 hours to create. This customized, couture process also means some of their pieces could be made in plus sizes as everything is made-to-measure.
The colorway is aptly named Limoncello. Once I took a closer look at the lingerie itself, I saw how intricately woven the lace is.
Although they also offer soft blushes and creams, Adina Reay doesn't shy away from bright colors. I would love to see more bold colors like this in plus.
To be fair, I have seen some bondage-style pieces available in plus sizes. Oh La La Cheri, for example, experiments with bandage-like elements in plus size ranges. However, there’s still nothing like what I saw being produced by designers like Bordelle and Liviara.
I walked by Bordelle's booth a number of times trying to get a free moment to look through their rack of exquisite bandage dresses. With price points starting around $500, this brand is known for merging curated luxury to kink. When I finally had a chance to get close enough, I was told "no pictures allowed," but trust me, these designs are forever etched on my must-have lingerie wishlist.
When I spied similar bandage styles at Liviara, I was relieved and elated to hear that I could not only snap pictures, but also that these styles were in the process of being graded for larger sizes. Colors like stormy blue and wine are major for a trend you so often see only in black.
In plus size lingerie, it’s more common to find foundation pieces than sheer mesh and embroidery. Yet sheerness is a trend I saw over and over again in straight-size pieces. From Rya Collection’s luxe robes, which made their debut at CURVE, to Va Bien's sheer constellation-embroidered knickers, I took notice of the intricate details this trend embodies.
London-based luxury lingerie brand, Edge O’Beyond, brought me one of my favorite sets from all of CURVE. The Valma High Waisted Brief couples delicate, sheer rose embroidery with bold elastic strapping. Pair it with the matching longline Valma Bra and the look is total perfection.
After an appointment with Elomi and Goddess, both of which offer plus sizes, I couldn’t help but notice a pale pink corset on the racks from straight size sister brand Huit. This lace-up, padded cup corset is totally something I could see being worn with track pants and heels. I love the front, which features lacing in a contrasting color, and the back, which has the busk you might normally see in the front. This is a piece to definitely take your lingerie as outerwear look to the next level.
The Lingerie Selection is a smaller, more intimate venue than CURVE, which meant I could talk one-on-one with all the designers and brand reps. Erica M. is one designer whose personality and passion for design was magnetic. As she described her new collection, it was clear she loves what she does and cares about making her line accessible to more people. She truly wants her designs to be for everyone.
The brand describes itself as a focused on “luxury, discrete, erotic-artistic sensibilities and style” and I saw that vision in each piece. Erica M. is definitely one designer I had a great conversation with when it came to plus sizes. She was excited to talk about it.
I have my eye on the bodysuits, hosiery, socks and separates. Okay, I really just want everything.
From thick gold rings to delicately-draped body chains and body jewelry, I saw pops of hardware in a few different ways. Bondage styles from Bordelle and Liviara featured metal hardware. I also appreciated the body jewelry Edge O’Beyond adds to their already luxurious lingerie.
When I first arrived at CURVE, I expected to gravitate only towards the brands that offered plus sizes. However, there were certain trends and styles I couldn’t help but notice. I hope the industry continues to expand and to make beautiful lingerie more accessible to people of all sizes.
Which of the trends featured are you most interested in seeing in plus sizes? What other trends do you hope to see?